The Timeshare Board Members Association (TBMA) announced it has taken a leading role in convening virtual meetings

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Educational webinars, video conferences, blogs and eNewsletters bring timely information, solutions, and resources to resort board members, managers, and other industry professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic

During the COVID-19 crisis, Keys objectives for timeshares resorts are to keep owners/guests and team members safe

After the World Health Organization officially declared the pandemic on March 11, most states issued emergency orders requiring timeshare resorts to shut down. TBMA has since hosted three virtual gatherings to share problems, solutions, resources, and best practices.

One webinar, held in late April, dealt with reopening plans in states permitting resorts to resume operations. Paula DiPaola, board president and manager of Magic Tree Resort in Kissimmee, FL, and Cindy Thomas, general manager at Stoneridge Resort in Blanchard, ID, led the discussion. Both described their plans to open in stages, with limited occupancy and vigorous sanitation procedures.

At each timeshare resort, they said, “keys objectives are to keep owners/guests and team members safe.”

New technology
Participants learned of resorts that have invested in electrostatic sprayers, costing $700 to $1,000 apiece. Their disinfectant spray is supposed to kill more than 99 percent of bacteria and viruses. Housekeepers strip a room, and then spray it. The spray remains on the countertops, TVs, and other surfaces.

Another innovative device is a no-contact thermometer, which front-desk personnel point at arriving owners and guests. If an individual being scanned triggers a red light, he/she won’t be allowed to check in.

Many housekeepers now wear disposable gloves, masks, and shoe covers. After cleaning each bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen, a housekeeper bags these garments for disposal and puts on new ones for the next room.

Locating enough gloves, masks, and shoe covers can be a problem. Participants in the call reported success in acquiring them from big-box outlets—in stores, or online at 2 or 3 AM. One manager said she ordered Lysol in bulk for delivery at the end of June. Where a distillery has begun to make hand sanitizer, nearby resorts have been able to buy it in bulk.

Sanitation protocols also include replacing and cleaning shower curtains after each occupancy. “What about cleaning blankets every time?” a participant asked. Others said they hadn’t thought of that. “Don’t let anybody go into a room and shake out a blanket,” a participant cautioned.
Some resorts where owners were shut out during the mandated shutdown are now offering those owners alternative accommodations, on a space-available basis.

PPP and EIDL
Earlier virtual conversations on March 23 and April 29 dealt largely with the complexities of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.

These programs allow resorts to continue paying their staff with funds the government will later forgive or recover through long-term, low-interest loans. Questions in the TBMA conferences involved quirks in the application process, and whether timeshare resorts organized on a state not-for-profit basis were eligible.

Ken McKelvey, chairman of the American Resort Development Association - Resort Owners Coalition, said resorts applying for these programs should submit an attorney’s opinion letter to support their request.

Webinars that are being scheduled include a Timeshare Association Board Members Workshop, Post-opening Challenges, and Effective Communications with Owners.

Because of the support of its sponsors, TBMA educational programs will be on-going through the end of 2020 and into 2021.

Information about TBMA can be found at http://www.tbmassoc.org or by email to: staff@tbmassoc.org

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